Thursday, February 16, 2012

RIP Gary Carter

By Rick Morris

Some passings punch you straight in those remnants of childhood memories. This is one of them for me.

The Kid, Gary Carter, was one of my favorite players when I was growing up, for a number of reasons. Then, as now, slugging catchers were a rarity (actually, probably more of one, given the excellent young crop of backstops in the game now). I was a catcher in youth baseball, but I don’t remember that being a large part of the appeal, more so just his effervescent love of the game. He was just a very fun player to root for and to watch.

One of my favorite memories will always be sitting in the left-field bleachers with my family at old Cleveland Municipal Stadium for the 1981 All-Star Game and watching Gary become only the fifth player in the history of the classic to slug two home runs en route to the game’s MVP designation.

Unlike my friend Russ Cohen, I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet him, but I’ve only ever heard very positive talk about his interaction with the public and informed assertions that he was every bit as good a guy as he appeared.

We at FDH mourn his passing and send our thoughts and prayers to him and his family, who have had the misfortune of watching his painful demise from cancer. We celebrate his life with this video that was assembled upon his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003. RIP Gary Carter.

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